Thursday, March 19, 2009

Something Didn't Seem Right

I recently got a 1992 factory set of Upper Deck. It set me back all of $3.75 plus shipping. I was looking through the cards and something with this card of Ron Robinson didn't seem right.

It sure looks like Wrigley Field and Robinson is on the Brewers. But wait, in 1991 the Brewers were in the American League and there was no interleague play until 1997. I checked the wall again, and yes, that definitely is Wrigley. Then it hit me. The card had to be photoshopped. It was a fake.

Checking his stats on the back, Robinson played only one game for the Brewers in 1991. In 1990 he split time with the Reds and the Brewers. So the picture must have been taken when he was with the Reds and then fixed to make in look like he is wearing a Milwaukee uniform.

Convinced the picture was doctored, I then started really looking close for other evidence of photoshop. The batboy in the background appears to be wearing a Brewers jacket. Nice touch there, fixing that too. There is plenty of blue in the crowd, but that would be Cubbie blue if this was Wrigley.

I started questioning myself as to whether this was really doctored. Maybe there is an American League park that has a wall like Wrigley. Then I had a DUH! moment. Robinson is batting. Robinson is a pitcher for the American League Brewers. The American League uses the DH. Pitchers don't hit! DUH!!!

Upper Deck went to a lot of trouble to make this look like he is in a Brewer's uniform. They got everything right except for that little detail that Robinson never batted while playing for the Brewers.

Now I know why that didn't seem right!


For comparison sake, check this out to see how good Topps was at doctoring photos in 1992.


  1. Great eye! That one escaped me since 1992.

  2. very interesting detective work on your part . . . you should be with a CSI unit somewhere. As I read your post, I had thought you might have come across a complete set of "fraud". Nice post !

  3. That may actually be a real photo. I did a search using Google News Archive, and it looks like the Cubs and Brewers played a spring training game at Wrigley in 1991.

    Google News Archive Search Results

  4. Matt could be right. Photoshopping really hasn't been Upper Deck's game. Topps is more prone to do that.

  5. Yep, I never considered a spring training game. The Cubs and Brewers played in Milwaukee on April 5 and at Wrigley on April 6. Five days later Robinson made his only appearance of the year,starting on April 11. That was five days after the game at Wrigley, which matches up with the rotation.

    Extra credit points for anyone who can come up with the box score from the game on April 6.

    I guess I gave Upper Deck too much credit for their photoshop ability.